In many states, tourism is at its peak in the warmest months. However, Colorado sees its fair share of winter-weather tourists. After all, some of the best skiing in the entire country is right here in Colorado. Those tourists help bring money to the state and contribute to the economy, but they also create quite a bit of risk.
Wherever there are tourists, there are often increased crime rates because of people targeting those tourists. Additionally, out-of-state drivers visiting during the winter months often cause catastrophic car wrecks. These are some of the ways that skiers and other winter tourists unintentionally contribute to crash rates in Colorado.
1. They often drive while distracted
Those unfamiliar with the local roads will likely require the support of a GPS device to find a hotel or the house that they arranged to rent. Interacting with the GPS device is a source of distraction that can lead to crashes.
Even if they don’t need to use a GPS device or they have someone in the vehicle to assist them with navigation so that they don’t have to handle the device directly, the process of watching for new street names can lead to distraction. Even trying to check out the local scenery can be distracting and increase somebody’s likelihood of causing a crash.
2. They may drive erratically
Those who depend on software to navigate may not realize until the last moment that they need to make a turn or may miss a turn. Tourists and other drivers unfamiliar with an area frequently make last-minute turns without using a turn signal or may even try to turn their vehicle around in traffic to double back after missing an intersection.
They could easily end up going the wrong way on a one-way street if they fail to see a sign, and they could potentially swerve unexpectedly because, unlike locals, they don’t already know where potholes or other road hazards are.
3. They may not have winter weather driving experience
Especially if people coming for a winter adventure are from someplace much warmer, they may not have any experience – or at least no recent experience – driving safely when there’s snow or ice on the roads. Tourists may fail to adjust their speeds, leave adequate following space or steer away from the spin when they lose control of their vehicles, all of which could lead to collisions.
The good news is that whether they have their own vehicle because they came on a road trip or they are driving a rental vehicle from a commercial fleet, there should be insurance that can help reimburse you for the losses you might experience if they cause a crash. Additionally, recognizing the safety challenges that endanger you on Colorado roads can help you more effectively avoid a motor vehicle collision.